Immediate annuities offer peace of mind

By: Humberto Cruz

For the past 10 years, my pension check has been deposited directly into my checking account the first day of each month. It’ll keep coming until both my wife, Georgina, and I have died.On or about the second Wednesday — the first time was Aug. 11, after she turned 66 — Georgina’s Social Security payment also gets direct-deposited. Mine will start coming next year... READ MORE

The best ways to invest in bonds today

By: Steven T. Goldberg

Long-term, high-quality bonds have had an incredible run.Over the past 10 years, while stocks were going nowhere, the Vanguard Long-Term Treasury Bond fund returned an annualized 8 percent. Over the past three years, the fund returned an annualized 11 percent.This year, through mid-October, the fund returned almost 20 percent. In fact, Treasuries have been on a tear since 1981 when yields... READ MORE

Seniors angry over no Social Security raise

By: Stephen Ohlemacher

Another year without an increase in Social Security retirement and disability benefits is creating a political backlash that has President Barack Obama and Democrats pushing to give a $250 bonus to each of the program’s 58 million recipients.The Social Security Administration said inflation has been too low since the last increase in 2009 to warrant a raise for 2011. The Oct. 15... READ MORE

The best ways to invest in bonds today

By: Steven T. Goldberg

Long-term, high-quality bonds have had an incredible run.Over the past 10 years, while stocks were going nowhere, the Vanguard Long-Term Treasury Bond fund returned an annualized 8 percent. Over the past three years, the fund returned an annualized 11 percent.This year, through mid-October, the fund returned almost 20 percent. In fact, Treasuries have been on a tear since 1981 when yields... READ MORE

Free long-distance calls via the Internet

By: Kathy Kristof

The first time my daughter went overseas with her college classmates, I called our cell phone company to inquire about international connection plans. For just $6 a month, they told me, I could get “discounted” calls to wherever my daughter traveled.Some $200 in “discounted” calling charges later— which added up to less than two hours of phone time — I... READ MORE

It pays to shop around, even for funerals

By: David Pitt

Funeral arrangements are among the steepest expenses we’ll face, but many important decisions are made emotionally rather than with a close eye on costs.“It doesn’t matter how much you spend, it doesn’t make a person any less dead. It doesn’t mean you love them any more or less and it isn’t going to bring them back,” said Josh Slocum, executive... READ MORE